Elizabeth Banks to Direct 'Pitch Perfect 2' (Exclusive)

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Elizabeth Banks will make her feature directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to Universal and Gold Circle’s hit 2012 musical comedy.

Banks, who also co-starred in and produced the original, is returning in the same capacity to the sequel.

Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, who also starred in the original, are likely to return, according to insiders.

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Perfect centered on a freshman (Kendrick) who reluctantly joins a college a cappella group called the Bellas and leads it to the finals. The movie grossed more than $115 million worldwide on a $17 million budget. It also over-performed in ancillary markets with the studio estimating it generated roughly $135 million in physical and digital home entertainment sales across North America to date, making it one of the top-performing DVD and VOD titles of 2013. The soundtrack was also a smash, going platinum with over 1 million units sold while single Cups went nearly triple platinum with combined sales of a little less than 3 million units sold.

"Elizabeth originated the idea for Pitch Perfect and was instrumental in making the first film such a huge success,” said Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. “She brings an enormous amount of energy and experience to everything she works on and we’re thrilled that she is making her feature directorial debut on Pitch Perfect 2.”

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Kay Cannon, who wrote Perfect adapting the book by Mickey Rapkin, is writing Perfect 2.

Paul Brooks will produce for Gold Circle Films alongside Banks and Max Handelman via their Brownstone Productions shingle.

Gold Circle’s Scott Niemeyer will executive produce. Cannon is co-producing with Gold Circle’s Jeff Levine.

Banks recently reprised her roles as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which has grossed over $850 million worldwide, and is one of the voicestars in The Lego Movie, which opens February 7. While this is feature directorial debut, Banks has directed several comedic shorts in the past.

Banks is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.

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